Last week, I had the privilege and fun of shooting some portraits with my new friend, Leslie. In looking over the first three images in this post, I’m amazed with the different looks that we came up with. Leslie was wearing the same dress, the same makeup and the same hair style. And yet, with different lighting, backgrounds and poses, these are three wildly different images.
One thing that I notice is that the backgrounds we chose seem to go with the tone of each image. The green-on-green suits the more serious pose in the image above. The bright blue complements the energy and enthusiasm of the big smile shot. And backlighting works well with the contemplative portrait below.
I wish I could say all of this was intentional – that we planned the backdrops to match to feeling of each image. Alas, we didn’t. Rather, we just experimented with a lot of backgrounds, lighting and pose ideas. We each contributed ideas on how to shoot these images. Color has a profound impact on how we see an image – and perhaps in an unconscious way how the photographer and the subject respond as well.
I try not to analyze all of this too closely. My best work happens when there’s not too much planning – when both the client and I are relaxed, loose and open to letting the creative spirit takes us on unexpected journeys.
Leslie did wear some other dresses. Here’s one of my favorite images from our shoot, below. Which of the four pictures appeals to you? I’d love to hear from you!